How to plan a conference

Ready to host a memorable conference? Make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons with our ultimate conference planning checklist.

From picking your #hashtags to conducting post event analysis, we’ve thought of everything so you don’t have to.  This checklist is a starting point, and can be adjusted based on the size, time scale, and needs of your event.

Pre-conference planning (12+ months out):
  • Define Objectives: What are you hoping to achieve with the conference? Who is your target audience?
  • Assemble a Team: Delegate tasks based on expertise and availability.
  • Set a Budget: Estimate all costs (venue, catering, marketing, etc.) and secure funding.
  • Choose a Date & Location: Consider seasonality, availability, accessibility, and budget.
  • Develop a Theme & Format: Reflect your objectives and resonate with your audience.
  • Develop a Marketing Strategy: Utilise social media, website, email marketing, etc.
  • Establish Brand Identity: Design logos, websites, marketing materials with consistency.
Mid-planning (6-12 months out):
  • Book Venue & Services: Work out contracts and confirm details.
  • Secure Speakers: Find relevant experts and finalise agreements.
  • Develop Sponsorship Packages: Attract sponsors to offset costs and gain exposure.
  • Design & Print Marketing Materials: Brochures, posters, online ads, etc.
  • Decide on Technology Needs: Audio/visual equipment, internet access, etc.
Planning a conference
54 St. James Street Roddick rooms have space for up to 150 people and can be arranged in a variety of ways
Pre-Launch Planning (3-6 months out):
  • Finalise Conference Schedule: Organise sessions, speaker timings, breaks, etc.
  • Recruit Volunteers if Needed: Train them on their roles and responsibilities.
  • Finalise Catering & Accommodation: Arrange meals, snacks, and manage dietary needs.
  • Send Invitations to Speakers & Sponsors: Confirm participation and logistics.
  • Launch Public Registration: Promote through various channels and offer early-bird discounts.
  • Develop Speaker Bios & Session Descriptions: Provide detailed summaries.
  • Plan On-site Logistics: Signage, transportation, emergency procedures, etc.
Final touches (1-3 months out):
  • Send Pre-Conference Information: Venue access, schedule updates, reminders.
  • Collect Travel Information: Assist attendees with travel arrangements if needed.
  • Finalise On-site Materials: Badges, handouts, programs, etc.
  • Enquire About Dietary Requirements: Check for allergies or specific dietary needs
  • Run Test Events: Check audio/visual equipment, ensure smooth functioning.
  • Promote Social Media Engagement: Encourage attendee interaction and use hashtags.
  • Prepare Media Relations Strategy: Issue press releases and engage journalists.
We partner with sandwicherie Artisane to offer a unique, freshly prepared and delicious menu
During the conference:
  • Welcome Attendees: Provide clear information and assistance.
  • Manage Event Logistics: Ensure everything runs smoothly according to schedule.
  • Monitor Social Media: Respond to feedback and address any issues promptly.
  • Facilitate Networking Opportunities: Provide spaces and events for interaction.
  • Collect Feedback: Surveys, social media, and exit interviews.
  • Send Thank You Notes: To attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers.
  • Publish Presentations & Recordings: If allowed, share valuable content online.
  • Analyse Results & Budget: Evaluate outcomes and identify areas for improvement.
  • Start Planning for the Next Conference: Utilize lessons learned and feedback.

Remember to be flexible and adaptable. Changes are all part and parcel of planning a conference, so keep a clear head and focus on attendee experience. Your key goal is to create a memorable and valuable event.

54 St James Street is a office, meetings, events and conferencing space in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. We are also linked to social enterprise The Women’s Organisation. Every booking helps us to support vulnerable women in our community.

Planning a conference in Liverpool? Check us out! Fill out our enquiry form and we will be in touch.